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Dog DNA Test Confirms New Rescue Dog is Related to Previous Rescue Dog

greta dog dna test
Photo Credit: Nicole Gopi Om Sopko

Dog DNA Test Pleasantly Surprises Chicago Couple

Many of us are comforted by believing our beloved dogs that have passed on are still with us and watching over us until we meet again someday.

Many dog owners who buy from breeders purchase another pup from the same lines to keep a piece of their past dog in the present.

But what are the odds of rescue dogs being related? Some might call it a coincidence, while others believe that some things are just meant to be.

Keep reading to find out if you believe in fate or just want a story with a happy ending.

Nicole Sopko and Dan Staackmann recently adopted a German Shepherd mix named Frida.

Before moving in with Sopko and Staackmann, Frida was picked up as a stray by the Palm Valley Animal Society in Edinburg, Texas, during a winter storm.

Her rescuers later transferred the dog to a Chicago shelter that had more space, which is where her new owners fell in love with her.

Shortly after bringing Frida home, Sopko and Staackmann got an Embark Dog DNA Test to learn more about the rescue pup’s background. The family got the same test for their late dog Greta Also, a German shepherd mix adopted from a Chicago shelter.

german shepherd dog dna test

Photo Credit: @UptonsNaturals

Compared with Greta’s results stored with Embark, Frida’s DNA test revealed that the dogs are biologically related. According to the tests, Frida and Greta share 6% of their DNA, making them first or second cousins.

Sopko and Staackmann were touched to discover this beautiful coincidence. Greta came into their lives in 2007 when Staackman adopted her from the Heartland Animal Shelter after Chicago Animal Care, and Control rescued the canine.

Sopko and Staackmann are the founders of Upton’s Natural, a Chicago-based vegan food company, and Greta quickly became an adored fixture around Upton’s Naturals’ office.

Greta passed on May 1, 2021, at 14 years old.

Upton’s Naturals, which also runs Liberation Donuts in Chicago, donated 100% of its sales from its best-selling “For Greta” donut to the Heartland Animal Shelter and One Tail at a Time as a way to give back to shelter animals in memory of Greta.

liberation donuts

Sopko and Staackmann found they still had lots of love to give after saying goodbye to Greta and adopted 8-year-old Frida this summer from One Tail at a Time.

“Like most people who share their lives with an animal, we were devastated by the loss of our dog, Greta. When we found Frida, we knew she was meant to be in our family, but we had no idea that she was also Greta’s biological family. I don’t know what the chances are of that happening, but it confirmed for us that some things are just meant to be,” Sopko shared in a statement.

Upton’s Naturals will be launching a “Cousin Frida” donut at Liberation Donuts to celebrate their newest family member. In August 2021, Frida’s family is donating sales from its Total Liberation Donut to One Tail at a Time to support the rescue’s Pet Mutual Aid program and as a thank you for bringing Greta’s cousin into their lives.

Greta’s memory lives on, and kudos to this couple for giving back to their community and helping other rescue dogs in need.




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